Bus fares 'unfair' to low earners

Concession fares should not just be for students and the elderly, a bus user advocacy group says.

The Bus Users Support Group Otepoti-Dunedin co-president Peter Dowden said the current prices and system was ‘‘unfair’’ to those on a low income.

Those who held Community Services Card should also benefit from reduced fares.

"The reasoning behind a minimum top-up, currently $10, is to reduce the number of people disrupting the loading of a bus while they top up.

"But it has an unfair effect of taking an appreciable amount out of a very low-income person’s weekly budget."

He told Otago regional councillors, during their annual plan submission hearings yesterday, the group supported any move to lower or free fares, offering their Fair Fares policy.

The policy suggested allowing accompanied children to ride free on weekends and school holidays and allowing "one last journey" when any amount was left on a travel card, deducting the difference from the next top up.

The group also told the ORC it should look at making school travel free in Dunedin, which could reduce the costs of increasing road capacity.

Comments

So basically they are saying pretty much everybody that uses the buses should ride free or have a concession! Clearly a 9.1% rates rise is not enough for them!

Free for them means those of us who WORK will have to pay for them.

Yeah, that sounds fair. Not.

My view - if you use the bus and take up a seat, then you should pay for that seat. So babes in arms ride free, everyone else pays.

Otherwise if you want to get really "fair", weigh everyone when they get onboard and charge a cent per kilogram.

After all, the heaviest among us do take up more space and cost more in petrol to lug around!

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